Jamie Joseph is adamant that Japan want to play the Pool A decider against Scotland despite reports that the match may be cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.
Should the match in Yokohama be called off, Japan would advance through to a first-ever quarter-final, while the Scots would be eliminated from the competition. A decision on whether the match will go ahead is set for Sunday morning, hours before the scheduled kick-off.
An annoyed Joseph responded to reports that the Scottish Rugby Union would take legal action against World Rugby should the crucial game be abandoned because of the approaching typhoon.
‘These reports have undermined the significance the match holds for Japan,’ said Joseph.
‘We have won three Tests so far and put ourselves in the best position in the pool. I would like to remind everyone that this is not a fluke but is down to a lot of hard work by a number of people.
‘Everyone in our camp, players and staff, want to play the match against Scotland. We all want to earn the right to be considered one of the elite teams in the world. It is important for us to wake up on Monday and understand we are a worthy top eight team or not good enough.’
Since taking charge of Japan, Joseph has spoken about getting his team up to the standards of the game’s best nations, and the former All Black is hoping that his side can win their final pool game, instead of making the knockouts because of the match being called off.
‘I just think the key difference here between us and Scotland is that we are driven and supported by the whole country,’ continued Joseph.
‘My team is motivated by achieving something that is great, not avoiding an embarrassment.’
Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images